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Prosthodontist salary & career outlook

Nothing lasts forever, and nobody in the dental industry knows that better than prosthodontists. Focused on the restoration and replacement of teeth, these specialized dental professionals work with permanent fixtures like crowns and bridges, and removable fixtures, like dentures, to maintain the dental health of their patients.

Prosthodontist salary 2011 - 2012 outlook

Strong salaries are just one career reward for these dental experts. The median wage for prosthodontists was $109,300 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Prosthodontists also enjoy being experts in their field: In fact, only 560 prosthodontists were employed in the U.S. in 2011. The majority of practicing prosthodontists work in dental offices, but the BLS reports that about 50 prosthodontists work in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, where they earned mean annual wages of $81,540 in 2011.

Because prosthodontia is such a specialized career, the BLS doesn't provide much state and local data on the career, but you can look to the larger career category of dentistry for the bigger picture. Here are the metropolitan areas with the highest employment level for dentists, plus mean annual wages from 2011, according to the BLS:

  1. New York, White Plains, Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.: $138,930
  2. Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Ill.: $123,970
  3. Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, Calif.: $131,960
  4. Washington, Arlington, Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va.: $183,440
  5. Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Mass.: $176,170

Specialist wages for prosthodontists will vary based on your location, years of experience, and your employer. Indeed.com, for example, found that Army Reserve prosthodontists working in Washington, D.C. earned average wages of $79,000 as of April 2012. GlassDoor.com also lists 2012 salary ranges for prosthodontists at various companies, which helps paint a picture of the variety of current opportunities in the field:

  1. Assured Dental Care: $115,000-$125,000
  2. Upland Dental Implant & Orthodontics: $95,000-$103,000
  3. University of Pennsylvania Health System: $87,000-$94,000

Prosthodontist training and certification

Prosthodontia schools offer training that spans about three years of graduate study after dental training. Unlike cosmetic dentists, who may only receive certificate training in weekend or week-long courses, prosthodontists undergo extensive dental aesthetics and cosmetics education.

In order to become a board certified prosthodontist, you must pass extensive written and oral examinations and present three different patient treatments from beginning to end. It's not easy to become a prosthodontist, but those who do enjoy the career benefits of working as an expert in the field.

Moderate career growth for prosthodontists

The BLS projects that career opportunities for prosthodontists will grow 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, with about 200 new jobs entering the field. Training is key among dentists, and prosthodontia training online is one way to enhance your knowledge, attract new patients and grow a rewarding career in the dental industry . If you're already a practicing densit, you may choose to undergo additional training to pursue a specialization in prosthodontia.

Working as a prosthodontist means working with clientele who trust their smiles to your care. Whether you're installing a single crown or replacing a full set of dentures, you'll use your targeted knowledge in prosthodontia to go above and beyond the standard call of duty for dentists. Explore prosthodontist training options at online schools that offer this program, to discover how you can continue your education in the dental field.